Faculty & Staff Reporting Obligations

FAQs for Faculty and Staff Members Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity and Sexual Misconduct Training Video

As a Princeton University faculty or staff member, you have certain reporting obligations with respect to emergencies, sexual misconduct, and other potentially illegal activity. The Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity and Sexual Misconduct Training Video is intended to help you understand your reporting responsibilities; specifically, it will teach you what to report, how to report, and to whom to report.

The following FAQs are intended to provide additional information after you have viewed the training video entitled “Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity and Sexual Misconduct. In addition, in order to further understand your reporting obligations, please review the Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity policy and the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy.

Questions that apply to both policies

1. What if I am not sure whether to report?

The University recognizes that there will be circumstances where the faculty or staff member may be unsure whether potentially illegal activity or sexual misconduct has occurred. In these circumstances, you should report.

If you have questions, call the Office of Human Resources (for staff) at 609-258-3300, hr@princeton.edu or the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (for faculty and post-doctoral researchers) at 609-258-3024, dof@princeton.edu.

2. What if I am not sure whether the alleged conduct actually occurred? Do I still report it?

You are required to report all instances of suspected potentially illegal activity or sexual misconduct. You are not expected to, nor should you, attempt to ascertain whether particular conduct did in fact occur.

3. What if the situation is reported to me during the summer or during a break in the academic calendar?

You are obligated to report the matter promptly, regardless of when the conduct occurred and/or when it was reported to you.

4. What are examples of conduct that I would need to bring to the attention of University officials?

Our policies note that “illegal activity” ranges from conduct commonly and clearly understood to be criminal in nature and potentially punishable by imprisonment, such as burglary and assault, to acts which may more likely result in fines or penalties under federal, state, or local law, such as improper disposal of hazardous waste and improper financial transactions.

“Sexual misconduct” includes, among other conduct, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation, all of which are defined in detail in our Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy.

5. Can I be disciplined or subject to any negative consequences if I report in good faith potentially illegal activity or sexual misconduct?

No. The University does not tolerate retaliation. Good faith reports of suspected illegal activity and sexual misconduct will neither jeopardize employment nor result in retaliation by the University.

6. What if my report turns out to be inaccurate?

Good faith reports of suspected illegal activity and sexual misconduct, even those that turn out to be inaccurate, will neither jeopardize employment nor result in retaliation by the University.

7. Must University faculty and staff report suspected child (age 17 and under) abuse?

Under New Jersey Law, “Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately to the Division of Youth and Family Services by telephone or otherwise. Such reports, where possible, shall contain the names and addresses of the child and his parent, guardian, or other person having custody and control of the child and, if known, the child's age, the nature and possible extent of the child's injuries, abuse or maltreatment, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse or maltreatment, and any other information that the person believes may be helpful with respect to the child abuse and the identity of the perpetrator.”

The website of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families provides information on how and when to report child abuse, definitions of terms such as “abused child,” and resources available: http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/reporting/how/.

FAQs regarding Emergencies

8. What is the difference between the two emergency phone numbers (911 vs. 609-258-3333) described in the training video?

Either number should be used only to report an emergency. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the expert with regard to campus building locations, and thus can respond to an on-campus emergency most quickly. If you want to reach DPS directly from your cell phone, program your cell phone with 609-258-3333 or download their mobile app here. You can also reach DPS directly by dialing 911 from any University landline telephone. If you are on-campus and dial 911 from your cell phone, you will initially be connected to the Princeton Township Police Department, who will then direct your call to DPS.

9. If I am off-campus (domestic or international) at a Princeton-sponsored program or activity and an emergency occurs, does the University need to know?

Yes, but first report the emergency with local law enforcement. Then report to DPS after the emergency has been addressed by local law enforcement.

FAQs regarding Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity

10. Why is it important that faculty and staff members report potentially illegal activity?

The University is committed to operating in an ethical and lawful manner and it depends on its faculty and staff members to share concerns regarding suspected potentially illegal activity. In addition, the University must consider the best interests of the University community, including whether alleged conduct presents a continued serious threat to the campus community or significant risk to the University.

11. What does the policy require and to whom does it apply?

It requires all University faculty and staff to bring to the attention of a designated University official any report of potentially illegal activity.

The reporting obligation described in this policy applies to all faculty and staff members, whether full-time or part- time, including academic professionals and post-doctoral researchers. Remember, when in doubt, report.

12. What is the geographic scope of this policy?

The policy applies to any potentially illegal activity that occurs on the Princeton campus. It also applies to those areas off-campus, where Princeton-sponsored programs or activities occur or where the University’s computing and network resources are used. This includes, but is not limited to, (domestic or abroad) University-sponsored academic conferences, field research, independent research, course field trips, internships, study abroad programs, sporting events, and extracurricular activities. If the University provides any funding or support for a particular program or activity, it is considered to be University-sponsored. Thus, if the potentially illegal activity occurs in any of those locations, regardless of who commits the illegal activity, it must be reported.

13. What if I have additional questions regarding my reporting obligations under the Reporting Potentially Illegal Activity policy?

If you have additional questions or concerns, call the Office of Human Resources (for staff) at 609-258-3300, hr@princeton.edu or the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (faculty and post-doctoral researchers) at 609-258- 3024, dof@princeton.edu.

14. Is anonymous reporting available?

Yes, through the University Hotline.

15. If I decide to use the University’s Hotline, what information must I share?

You should share as much information as possible. The more detailed the information you provide, the better the University can address the conduct. All good faith reports submitted through the Hotline, which is administered by a third-party, EthicsPoint, will be given careful attention by the appropriate Princeton University administrators. EthicsPoint accepts reports via phone or on-line and is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and offers translation services upon request. More information about the University Hotline is available at: http://oac.princeton.edu/compliance/hotline.

FAQs regarding Reporting Sexual Misconduct

16. Why is it important that faculty and staff members report matters pertaining to sexual misconduct?

It is important that the University provide individuals who believe that they have been victims of sexual misconduct or sex or gender discrimination with information regarding resources, options, and accommodations that may be available to them and this information is best provided through the Title IX Office. In addition, the University must consider the best interests of the University community, including whether alleged conduct presents a continued serious threat to the campus community.

17. To whom does the Sexual Misconduct policy apply?

The policy governs the conduct of: University students, regardless of enrollment status; faculty; staff; and third parties (i.e., non-members of the University community, such as vendors, alumni/ae, visitors, or local residents). See http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part1/index.xml#comp132.

18. What is the geographical scope of the Sexual Misconduct policy?

The policy applies to conduct that occurs on University property (i.e., on campus) and in the local vicinity. All actions by a member of the University community that involve the use of the University’s computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, will be deemed to have occurred on campus. The policy also applies to conduct that occurs off University property (i.e., off campus) when the conduct is associated with a University-sponsored program or activity, such as travel, research, or internship programs or when such conduct may have a continuing adverse effect or could create a hostile environment on campus. Judgments about these matters will depend on facts of an individual case and will be made by the Title IX Office.

19. Am I required to report sexual misconduct that occurs off-campus?

Yes, if the conduct occurred in the local vicinity of campus and/or occurred as part of a University-sponsored program or activity. This includes, but is not limited to, (domestic or abroad) University-sponsored academic conferences, field research, independent research, course field trips, internships, study abroad programs, sporting events, and extracurricular activities.

If the University provides any funding or support for a particular program or activity, it is considered to be University-sponsored. In this context, the location of the incident is not determinative in terms of whether reporting is required; what matters is that the conduct is associated with a University-sponsored program or activity.

20. Am I required to report sexual misconduct involving my co-workers? What about sexual misconduct involving non-members of the University community?

Yes to both questions if the conduct occurred on campus or in the local vicinity or if the conduct occurred off- campus in association with a University-sponsored program or activity.

21. Am I required to report verbal conduct or concerns relating to climate?

You are required to report any misconduct pertaining to sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. This may include physical and/or verbal conduct. See http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part1/index.xml#comp133.

22. Will a Confidential Resource disclose the information I share with them?

Information shared with Confidential Resources (including information about whether an individual has received services) will only be disclosed to the Title IX Office or any other person with the individual’s express written permission, unless there is an imminent threat of serious harm to the individual or to others, or a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). For more information about confidentiality and Confidential Resources, see http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part1/index.xml#comp135.

23. How can I learn about the University's policy for handling matters of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and other related conduct?

For general information regarding our policy and procedures related to sex discrimination and sexual misconduct, see http://sexualmisconduct.princeton.edu/. For a copy of the University’s official policy and disciplinary procedures regarding sex discrimination and sexual misconduct, see Rights, Rules, Responsibilities section 1.3 (http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part1/index.xml#comp13).

24. What if I have additional questions regarding my reporting obligations relating to sexual misconduct?

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Title IX Administrator, Regan Crotty, ptitleix@princeton.edu or 609-258-7411.